Why I Love Volunteering at Romance Writing Cons

Moonday Mania

a blog about writing

There is nothing like going to a convention for something you love to do. If you write romance, RWA Nationals is the place to be in July. (Although, maybe not San Antonio in July. Whew, was it hot!) Famous romance writers from all over were there. If you are a fan girl and collapse at the sight of your authors, you would be rubbernecking all day and into the night.

Luckily, I was too busy to catch many of the biggies, but I did see a few. And I got to network with a few too. Nice!

san antonio riverwalk at night

San Antonio Riverwalk at night. Photo courtesy of ML Guida

How did I make that happen? Well, like most good things, it was an accident. Okay, it was the result of planning to do something else and it was an unexpected side benefit. You see, I volunteer at RWA and this year I did two different activities, both of which turned out to be terrific networking opps where I met amazing authors and book business people, as well as terrific volunteers and other RWA members.

The first event was the PRO Retreat. Now, if you are not an RWA member you may not know that our organization is divided into PAN (Published Author Network), PRO (Getting there, maybe published but haven’t hit the threshold for PAN yet), and everyone else (haven’t finished a manuscript, or been brave enough to submit it to a publisher or publish it yourself). I’m in PRO and I may be there for a very long time, due to the way PAN membership is tiered. And that’s fine with me. The PROs are a cool group of motivated people. We include many indie-published and small press published authors as well as those who aren’t published yet, but are serious about getting there. PRO’s rock!

This was the first year we had a round-table event and since I’m on the PRO Steering Committee, I got to help out! That meant I got to contact romance authors, romance cover artists, and romance marketing people and invite them to come to our event. It also meant I got to talk to almost all of our speakers, at least once. How cool is that?

The other volunteering position I did was at the front desk. Basically, anyone with a question or a problem showed up at the desk. Lots of authors with lost items, people confused about which building the pitch appointments were in, and just general questions. I not only got to meet all those authors and RWA members, but I also got to hang out with some cool volunteers and meet some of our dedicated office staff. We never get to talk to the behind the scenes people, so it was very interesting to meet the women who put on this event year after year and keep RWA moving forward.

If you have something that you do that you love, find a convention and go enjoy yourself. But when you do, consider the benefits of helping out at the convention. Yes, it takes time away from all the amazing workshops. Yes, I missed a few things that I would have loved to go to. But it’s more likely that I would have found myself burnt out from sitting and learning and spent Friday afternoon in the bar!

In case you missed it, my new venture into modern Gothic romance is out! 

Contemporary Love Stories with a Gothic twist.

ghosts of christmas past by jessica aspenLook for Ghosts of Christmas Past on sale for 99 cents! August 2014


Ghosts of Christmas Past

A Haunted Holidays Novel

Jen MacNamara flees the Christmas wedding of her best friend and cheating fiancé and runs to the country to spend the holiday alone. It’s the perfect plan, until her unexpectedly sexy neighbor and landlord, Nate Pierce, insists on bringing the holiday to her—complete with a Christmas tree, hot chocolate, and an unexpected kiss. 

And that’s not Jen’s only problem.

 The cozy country farmhouse is already occupied by something evil. Now Jen’s nights are spent wrapped in sensual dreams of a past life, and her days growing closer to Nate as they solve the mystery of the malevolent ghost that haunts not only the house, but also wants Jen dead.

 Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Ibooks, AllRomanceEbooks

Introductory price of 99cents! Goes up to $2.99  September 1st, 2014

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